The Search Engine Optimization market, like the algorithms that power it, are constantly in flux. Google’s algorithm is almost constantly being updated, which keeps business owners and marketers alike on their toes.
This year will be no different. Here are a few things to keep in mind if SEO marketing is one the main ways you hope to attract new customers.
Intent supplants keywords
Keywords will still be important. Typing in in simple words will yield simple results—and that’s part of the problem. So many businesses are attempting to cash in on the SEO rankings that a simple keyword will most likely not yield the results consumers are looking for.
And, today, they know exactly what they’re looking for, and search engines are getting much better at identifying user intent. When as the last time you typed a single word or a pair of words to begin a search? Most of us know enter the entire query: “How do you change the oil in a 1974 Mustang,” for example, instead of “oil change, mustang.”
You will need to optimize your digital content based on intent, rather than specific keywords. In other words:
- Ask. What are users searching for that brings them to your page? What questions do they want your content to answer?
- Optimize. Once you know the answer, make any needed changes
- Adjust. Keep up with analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t so you can update accordingly.
Many times, Google will display the answer to your question directly in search results, then list other helpful websites or videos. These are called direct answers.
Cross-channel marketing means you are using several channels to market your brand in an integrated way. he primary goal of cross-channel marketing is to create a consistent brand presence across multiple channels so that users can move seamlessly between devices and platforms to make a purchase. You want your customers to be able to view your site on their phone or tablet, for example, but allow them the opportunity to make purchases from their home computers, which they may feel are more secure.
Even more mobile
Mobility is increasingly important. Mobile accessibility has reshaped SEO rankings for several consecutive years and now, sites that are mobile-friendly rank higher on SEOs that those that are not. In May 2015, Google reported that mobile searches had surpassed desktop searches on its search engine—and that was nearly two years ago. This trend will continue.
Voice search is the next big thing
Voice search is not just something that lives in the realm of Tony Stark’s ‘Jarvis’ in the Avengers and Iron Man movie franchises, or the computer in classic Star Trek episodes. It has become one of the fastest-growing search options. The appeal is undeniable: it’s hands-free, fast, futuristic and fun—and the voices they use for systems like Siri, Cortana and Alexa are easy on the ears, too.
As this technology improves, the error rates will drop. You won’t be screaming in frustration in an attempt to get your artificially-intelligent helper bot understand your question. This year, we expect the voice search to expand beyond mere speech recognition to understanding—it sounds a bit creepy, given that the system will not just be recognizing your words but understanding your intent, but it will ultimately make it easier for consumers to find your business.
Those are some of our thoughts. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!